Low Carb, Paleo Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Mash Recipe

If you are looking for smooth and creamy mashed potatoes but need a low carb option, be sure to give these a try! This is an easy mashed cauliflower recipe the whole family will love. Raise your hand if you ever tried to make cauliflower mashed potatoes and they tasted terrible! That was me up until this point, and I am so excited to share this secret recipe with you. I’ve used this recipe so many times and it’s the perfect side dish for steak night, roasted chicken or even Christmas dinner!

Cauliflower mashed potatoes are a delicious and healthier alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. Made with cauliflower instead of potatoes, this dish packs great flavor while cutting calories, fat, and carbs. The cauliflower provides volume and texture similar to potatoes, while absorbing all the rich, creamy flavors we love in classic mashed potatoes.

Part of the beauty of cauliflower mashed potatoes is their versatility. They can be served as a classic side dish just like regular mashed potatoes, pairing nicely next to proteins like chicken, beef, pork chops or fish. Or get creative and use cauliflower mash in unexpected ways. Use it as the base for shepherd’s pies, topping it with sautéed ground meat and veggies then baking until hot and bubbly. Make loaded twice baked potatoes by scooping out baked potatoes and using the cauliflower mash as the veggie-packed filling, stuffing the potato skins with cauliflower mash and sprinkling cheese on top before baking again. For an easy vegetarian meal, spread cauliflower mash into a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake until melted and creamy.

Cauliflower mashed potatoes are low carb compared to regular potatoes but still deliver creamy, comforting texture and flavor. The simple ingredients like cauliflower, coconut cream and butter provide a neutral background that’s perfect to customize with seasonings and mix-ins. This versatile dish can be served as a side, light dinner or even meal-prepped for easy lunches and dinners throughout the week. This creamy cauliflower mash makes “faking” mashed potatoes so delicious, nutritious and fun. Add it to your list of keto diet friendly and Paleo recipes! It’s the perfect way to enjoy a hearty, cozy dish made a bit lighter for your holiday dinners.

What you need to make low carb Paleo Cauliflower Mash:

  • Cauliflower: florets only, or see note below for using cauliflower rice
  • Oil: I prefer olive oil due to the flavor, but avocado oil also works.
  • Garlic cloves
  • Coconut cream: just scoop out the thick part from a can
  • Coconut yogurt: unsweetened, unflavored coconut yogurt is key, and my favorite brands are Coco June and Culina
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Butter: Ghee or vegan butter works too
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

Alternate Cooking Methods for the Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Recipe:

  • While the recipe calls for steaming the florets until fall-apart tender, you could also roast the cauliflower chunks in the oven to caramelize and soften. Roast with 2 tablespoons oil at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Those little brown parts created during the browning process will create more depth of flavor in the dish. Steam florets for 15 minutes until very soft.
  • Pureeing the cauliflower mash: Add cooked cauliflower to an immersion blender, potato masher, food processor or regular blender. Use your preferred method!
  • Cheese: Add Manchego, Parmesan cheese or your favorite dairy-free cheese.
  • Complete meal: Mix in sautéed veggies, bacon, ham, sausage for a complete meal.
  • Customize: Mix in any of the options listed below or keep plain and simple.
  • Bulk: You can also make double or triple batches, and freeze for an easy weeknight dinner! Just store in an airtight container.

Low Carb, Paleo Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Mash Recipe

Sarah Erickson
This creamy, decadent cauliflower mash is the ultimate low-carb replacement for mashed potatoes. Made with simple ingredients like cauliflower, coconut milk and garlic, the mash delivers on rich, indulgent flavor and becomes extra decadent when topped with crispy bacon, melted butter and chives.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American


Cauliflower Mash Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower florets only
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream from a can
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened unflavored coconut yogurt
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp butter ghee or vegan
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Optional toppings:

  • 4 slices of bacon cooked and diced
  • 2 tbsp of minced chives
  • Pat of butter
  • Cheese – Manchego Parmesan, or your favorite dairy-free variety
  • Green onions


  • Add cauliflower florets to a large stove pot with about 3 inches of water in the bottom of the pot. Over medium heat, bring to a boil and steam the florets for approximately 15 minutes, or until fork tender.
  • Remove from heat and strain out all of the water.
  • Heat olive oil and garlic over medium high heat until garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn.
  • To a large blender, add: steamed cauliflower, olive oil and garlic mixture, coconut cream, coconut yogurt, lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and fluffy.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Enjoy!


Substitutions and additional options for this recipe:
  • Thinning – Cauliflower is naturally very watery and will likely not need to be thinned, but since that is a matter of preference, you could use unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk or chicken broth to thin.
  • Cauliflower rice – Cauliflower rice may be used instead of cauliflower florets. Be sure to use 6 cups of cauliflower rice (replaces 1 large head of cauliflower). Just be sure to return cauliflower rice to hot pot to help remove any excess moisture.
  • Oil – While the recipe calls for olive oil, avocado oil, ghee or butter are great substitutes for sautéing the garlic.
  • Dairy free – To keep this dairy free, I use coconut cream and unsweetened coconut milk yogurt. However, if dairy is tolerated, you can substitute heavy cream and sour cream or cream cheese.
  • Garlic – In lieu of sautéing 2 cloves of garlic, you can roast an entire head of garlic, giving the mashed potatoes a more rich, deep taste.
Keyword cauliflower, keto, low carb

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